Introducing New Jersey’s Own Dryjacket

Words by Nicholas Parco

Hopeless Records is home to bands such as Taking Back Sunday, New Found Glory and The Wonder Years, just to name a few. Last summer, a relatively unknown indie-rock band by the name of Dryjacket came on board the label.

Joe Junod, Brad Wyllner, Ian Foley and Adam Cerdan had been playing music together for a handful of months prior to getting the deal. Since then, the four-piece from Marlton, New Jersey has stayed quiet, but that’s going to change next month when their first EP, Lights, Locks, & Faucets, hits stores.

The title of the EP stems from an… interesting ritual Junod has.

“It’s kind of like a thing I have, an OCD thing…” he explained, laughing. “I need to check everything, like the lights, lock, faucets, a lot. Brad thought of using it for the title.”

It’s a quick turnaround for a young band, but after listening to their two singles, “Jefferson’s Shadow” and “Latchkey,” it’s hard to believe they’ve been together for just over a year.

Junod, who sings and plays guitar, brought music he had made by himself to Wyllner. Shortly thereafter they hooked up with Foley and Cerdan. From the beginning, Junod, the catalyst, said they were serious about getting a record deal.

“I brought some songs into it,” he told The Waster. “The second song, ‘Latchkey,’ I have had for a couple of years, that was finished. I would record my own stuff. Most of the songs started out acoustic and Brad heard it and it went from there.”

After rehearsing and playing house shows, the band played a few dates with Somos. Their name started to get out and Hopeless Records contacted them.

Then Dryjacket got another big break.

“We met Dan Campbell (The Wonder Years) at a show we played last summer,” Junod said. “We actually met him. That was when we were in talks with Hopeless, so we were saying we might be on the same label, we’re in the same area.”

They left a mark on Campbell, and last month at The Wonder Years’ secret 10-year anniversary show in Philly, he tapped them to open. Dryjacket’s music is not nearly as loud and brash as The Wonder Years and their other labelmates though.

“It’s interesting, I feel like they might be going for a slightly different sound,” Junod said. “It’s more of a pop punk label. Maybe they are breaking away from that a little. At the same time, it isn’t Polyvinyl where it’s just indie bands… I guess we have a little bit of everything, and they have their hand in everything.”
The band’s sound is more post-2000 indie with a blend of pop-punk, which is a good category to be in right now.

Bands like The Hotelier, Modern Baseball, Somos and others have gained followings and toured the country on the back of similar sounds.

Dryjacket is already fitting in.

“Our first show was with Somos,” Junod said. “There’s a lot of good bands that come out of this area – we would be fine being associated with that. If pop-punk people like it that’s fine. Bands like that we really like. It’d be a big compliment to be grouped in with them.”

Catch Dryjacket at these local shows:

Apr 15 – GameChangerWorld – Freehold, NJ
Apr 16 – Amityville Music Hall – Amityville, NY
Apr 17 – Suburbia Basement – Brooklyn, NY | New Jersey